San Jose sets up sandbags and clears drains in anticipation of the rainy days to come

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The middle of the workweek sees a start-to-finish soak across the Bay Area. It is the first major rain of the season.

“It’s mid-October. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have told you that the earliest rain we can expect is mid-October. Boom! It’s right on. the hour, “said Dr. Allison Bridger, professor in the Department of Meteorology and Climatology at San Jose State University.

For a drought-stricken region and state, rain is good, but it can also be bad.

“If it rains a lot and the water is flowing on both sides of the street, go down to the corner of the street, it will probably be a flood. I want to be sure that nothing is blocking the drainage,” said Nikki Nguyen. , owner of East Bay.

The scraping of rakes on leaves and sidewalks is a seasonal soundtrack, as Nguyen and many other residents spent the days leading up to Wednesday’s rains cleaning storm sewers of debris.

“Most of the (homeowners) here have done the gardening work necessary to prevent basic flooding from occurring,” said Paul Mueller, another East Bay homeowner who was checking the drainage around his property.

Municipalities did similar work, but long before the first drops fell. San Jose Department of Transportation officials said crews cleaned 91 percent of 35,000 storm drains over the summer.

Sandbags are now in place and water pumps in line, in case the rain turns streams into rivers.

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“The main reason a catch basin gets clogged is because it’s full of leaves. And so when it’s leaf fall season, we go out and try to proactively remove those leaves for ourselves. ensure the drains are clear, ”said Jennifer Seguin, assistant manager. of the Ministry of Transport of San José.

Experts predict moderate rains until the end of the week. But if the rainfall rate is higher than expected, it could cause problems, especially in areas damaged by forest fires.

“All the vegetation is burnt. And so there is no more root structure to hold the soil in place. And so when it rains, all the soil slides down the hill. And that can be just as damaging as that. the fire itself in the first place, ”said Dr. Bridger.

San Jose officials say if you see flooding or road problems due to rain, call the city’s Department of Transportation at (408) 794-1900.


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